In a not terribly surprising move given the past few weeks of TikTok v. Trump news, the company has announced it is suing the administration. Earlier this summer, the president said he planned to ban the app in the United States, vaguely citing national security, as TikTok is owned by a Chinese parent company, ByteDance. (The Trump administration has implied TikTok is sharing information on U.S. citizens with the Chinese government. TikTok denies these allegations.) Trump issued an executive order, and the company was given 45 days, later extended to 90 days, to sell its U.S. business before all transactions in the country would be — details here are also vague — banned. For reasons that are, again, obvious, TikTok isn’t sitting idly by while Trump does this.
The Executive Order issued by the Administration on August 6, 2020, has the potential to strip the rights of that community without any evidence to justify such an extreme action, and without any due process. We strongly disagree with the Administration’s position that TikTok is a national security threat and we have articulated these objections previously.
In the suit, the company claims the Trump administration ignored due process as well as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which allows for the prohibition of activities that pose “an unusual and extraordinary threat.” TikTok says its actions have not merited such a label: “In the complaint we also go into significant detail about the nearly year-long effort we made in good faith to provide the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) the voluminous information requested — [which] was disregarded — and the numerous steps we offered to take in our commitment to transparency and cooperation.” CFIUS, TikTok says, never provided a reason why the company posed a threat to national security and then it “effectively terminated formal communications.” Which is to say, TikTok got ghosted.
Trump’s ban is scheduled to take effect on November 12 (should be a fun month). Until then, we await a response from Claudia Conway.